Laois senior football captain Colm Begley faces an anxious wait over the coming days to find out if he will travel to Australia with the Irish Compromise Rules team, as his involvement with Parnells in the Dublin SFC could rule him out.
Begley has stated that should Parnells emerge victorious from their clash with Ballymun Kickhams this Saturday, he will opt out of the panel in a bid to steer his adopted club to first county title since 1988.
Begley has proved to be one of Ireland’s most influential players in the series over the last few tests, picking up the ‘Irish Player of the Series’ award last year.
One Laois man definitely involved is Portlaoise’s Zach Tuohy, as he received his first ever international call up during the week, before going on to help Portlaoise clinch their record fifth Laois SFC title in a row.
Neither Tuohy nor Begley were named in the initial 18 man squad revealed by manager Anthony Tohill last week, but both have since been added to the setup.
Speaking in the aftermath of Sunday’s victory over Graiguecullen, in which he played a starring role, Tuohy confessed his delight at receiving an international call up. “That is a massive honour as well. I only started training with them in the last few weeks since I came home so I had a bit of work to do as they had been together for a while.
“I was lucky that Anthony Tohill put a bit of trust and faith in me and after only a few sessions he rang and told me that they were taking me along. I just found out in the last few days and it really is a massive privilege for me
Should Parnells win at the weekend, it will leave Tohill with a number of gaps to fill in his squad, as captain Stephen Cluxton is also involved with Parnells whiel Kerry captain Darran O’Sullivan will miss the series due to his involvement in the county final there with Mid Kerry.
Australia have named their squad, and they feature only four players with previous experience of the hybrid game. The first test is on October 28 in Melbourne.